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Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Rick Mayes


History will remember the summer of 2009 for many reasons. The World Health Organization deemed H1N1 a global pandemic. Air France flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 passengers. The Honduran military ousted President Manuel Zelaya in a military coup. Michael Jackson died. With these events as a backdrop, a less sensational—yet enormously important—debate erupted in Washington, D.C. For the first time since 1994, the federal government attempted to draft comprehensive health reform legislation. Unfortunately, President Obama’s conciliatory campaign rhetoric never adequately translated into bipartisan action. By the August recess, legislators found themselves divided over issues such as cost, employer mandated insurance, and the public option. In town halls across the country, citizens and Congressmen yelled at one another as talk of “death panels” and “Nazi medicine” permeated the rooms. At one meeting, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) stated, "There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life… We should not have a government program that determines if you're going to pull the plug on grandma.”1